Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Proof of God

I've been writing about the progress of science and how it has replaced some of the ideas of the ancient philosophers. Yet the Church believes God is accessible to humans through reason. That is still true, but I think science is changing the details of how He is found through reason. Aristotle thought the universe was eternal. Now there is evidence of a Big Bang, which means there was a beginning to the universe. Aristotle promoted the idea of spontaneous generation, in which living things continually arise from non-living. Louis Pasteur in the 1800's proved that life now comes only from other life.

Our new findings of cell complexity and specificity point to a Creator. Anyone who knows the details of the cell and the vast numbers involved in the improbability that it would form by chance should surely recognize that only an intelligence could make such a thing.

A recent article from the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports a conference at the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization in Denver, CO. Fr. Robert Spitzer brings the latest in cosmology to religious people to show how science and theology can fit together. He speaks about the amazing fine-tuning of the universe, and how in many ways it may not have formed the way it has.

Yet, at the bottom of the CNA article about Fr. Spitzer are comments which various persons have left, and they show that these commenters do not accept what Fr. Spitzer is saying. They give alternate theories which include infinite universes, so that ours is nothing special. They mock the priest's reasoning. This mindset is common in our day and is very telling. The point I have been trying to make in the last few posts is that proof of God in scientific terms does not get to the very bottom of belief. The Apostle Paul wrote of the problems even in his day,

Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.

From: Romans 1, USCCB webpage of NAB.

The people to whom Paul refers made false idols from wood and stone and worshipped them. In our day the falsehood is in a mindset that puts materialism as the base of being and scientific research as the only answer to life's questions. Yet Paul's words are as true today as they were then when it comes to the rejection of God by some people. It is interesting that Paul states in verse 21, "although they knew Him." We may think that disbelief comes from not knowing, but Paul does not think so. There is something else going on, and the word "vain" describes their reasoning. Eventually, their minds were darkened, and things went downhill from there.

As I said in a previous post, faith is a gift from God. It is a precious gift, and I believe He gives Christians important roles in the process of bringing more persons to Himself. Some people have come to faith by perceiving the wonders of nature, and that is fine. But I don't think the wonders of nature are going to convince everyone. In that case, Christians can pray for unbelievers and share what Christ has done for us in our lives and our hearts. God has many facets, and we should try to learn more about them ourselves as we help others understand.

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